Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold turkey

When I got into cycling, I was bombarded with a new lifestyle. My new friends quenched their thirst with liquids I said I'd never imbibe. When they wanted to get going, they'd order up a coffee. When they wanted to stop and relax, they'd down a beer (or 2, or 3..).

My first foray into drinking was after a race weekend down in Kansas City. It was Fred, his daughter, Ryan Legg, Jon Randell, and Megan Hottman. I think those were all who were in attendance. I'm not saying I blacked out or anything, that was just 4 or 5 years ago, so my memory is fuzzy. Anyway, we stopped at a steakhouse (see, I can't remember which one) to refuel and celebrate the weekend. Ryan knew that I was a lightweight, so he used his race winnings and ordered me up a huge Margarita that was REALLY strong. Getting that buzzed was a new experience for me. Everything was quieter and I felt kinda numb. So of course I had to announce this new discovery to everyone. Instead of saying something like, "Wow, the affects of alcohol have dimmed some of my senses," I blurted out, "Hey guys, look, I can't feel my face," as I pulled on my cheek and pushed on my nose. This was apparently quite hilarious to everyone.

I don't think I've gotten that buzzed since then, but I have taken to drinking beer. The main reason younger people drink beer is to get hammered. I never wanted to get past the buzzed sensation, so cheap crappy beer has never been my thing. I do, however, like the taste of a couple dark lagers. Sam Adams Black Lager and New Belgium's 1554 are a couple of my favorites. But at $7-$8 for 6 drinks, I couldn't keep that in my new aggressive debt defeating budget. I tried the $6 Michelob Porter Beer, but that was still $1 per day I was drinking it. By the way, I only drank 1 per day. Two beers just seemed crazy to me.

So I have cut out the beer. I don't really miss it, but I may drink one every now and then for special occasions.

Next up on the chopping block - coffee. I know some of you are gasping right now. "But Mike, how can you give up coffee?" Easy, stop drinking it. Today is the first day of none whatsoever. I'm not feeling it yet, but I've also sipped some Mt. Dew throughout the day. The main reason for giving up coffee is because it's too is expensive and I never really liked the taste. It was something I drank just for the caffeine. I know you can go cheap with Folgers made at home etc, but I'm the only one at home that drinks coffee. So making sure we have filters, going through the process of making it and all that for just me seems a little too much. Plus, I'm lazy and since we meet at coffee shops for our rides, I just order there. So that's at least $1.50 if not $4 as I like the foo-foo drinks. If I didn't depend on the hit of caffeine to get me going, the money and starting from a coffee shop would not be needed.

So if you've been keeping track, I had been spending anywhere from $1 to $6 A DAY on liquids. There's a water faucet down the hall from my desk and my water bill at home is taken care of by the landlord. Why am I spending money on flavored water again??

From here on, I'm cutting out the unnecessary drinks to save money. I don't need it. It's an expenditure of which cutting out will show great returns. Like I said before, I may, occasionally enjoy a brew for a celebration, or have a coffee if I go out to a big family breakfast, but the daily consumption must stop. If I ever really want to get out of debt and get on with life, I have to strip my budget of frivolous spending.

Ok, now that the declaration has been made, let's discuss the weekend. 3 day weekend!! WOO HOO!! The wife is going on a trip early Friday AM so I took that day off to take her to the airport. I'll probably finish up some bike work that needs to be done the rest of the day, then head over to Randells house to help him setup a home network. YAY New toys to play with!!

So that's pretty much Friday. Saturday is completely up in the air. I do need to come up with some sort of costume for a Halloween party I'm attending Saturday night, but other than that, I'm free if anyone would like to head out for a ride.

Sunday, I need to be home around noon so I can pick the wife up from the airport. So an early morning ride would be best. Right now, it's looking to be around 37 degrees with a below 10 mph South wind at daybreak. Daybreak being 8am. If we want to meet somewhere at 9am and get a few hours in, that would be awesome. If you have rights to post on this blog and want to suggest something, post away. My cold turkey haze induced run-on could stand to be shuffled down the list...


Cornbread said...

Dude, green tea is where it's at. Cheaper than coffee, loaded with antioxidants and you can even get it caffeine free.

munsoned said...

Hmmm... I may look into that. I know coffee has some antioxidants so it's much more healthy than soda and less calories.

Tea has a much more mellow flavor compared to coffee, so it is more palatable. Got any recommendations on brands and methods of making?

Chris G. said...

Or...fermented green tea. I started drinking Kombucha. It's a bit expensive, so now I make it at home for next to nothing.

See also:

It's pretty much replaced soda and coffee in my life. I still drink lots of good ol' water, too.

Biker Bob said...

Saturday, you need to do this:

I'll be there. I may be game for an earlier stop for coffee prior to the race (but you can just bring a bottle of water with you to the coffee shop). Teehee

Anyone else going to join us for some Alleycat action?

Biker Bob said...

As for flavored water. Green tea and regular tea are great ways to get the caffeine without getting bad breath or a beer gut.

We keep a 1 gallon container of sun tea in our fridge at home. That gives us something cheap to drink that isn't just water.

Shim said...

Maybe you should just apply for some stimulus funds.

RD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RD said...

no coffee what the hell dude :D
I will be there saturday we will see how it goes

Biker Bob said...

RD... cool, see you there.

Now I need to stop by Target on the way home and get some tight jeans from the Women's department, so that I can fit in with the SS Fixie crew..... NOT!

Cornbread said...

I just drink the cheap shit that you can buy at any grocery store. Bigelow caffeine free green tea. It's not bad.

fredcube said...

You should just make more money. That would be easier.

munsoned said...

Fred, you have no idea. That's one of the frustrating things about my job. I'm making just enough and my stress level is so low that it's hard to convince myself to look elsewhere. Especially in this economy. I still got a 2% raise this year, and we hired a guy a year ago, so I have definite job security here. Now, if only my manager would retire so I could go for his job....

Scott Redd said...

That's a good move if you can stick with it. When I reformed my diet several years ago, I quit drinking sodas and even caffeinated tea. I gradually started back and still drink more soda than I should. I never liked coffee, and I never got into the $5 coffee habit, but it does irritate me that I will drop a few bucks a day on sodas.

The addiction is so bad that if I go a morning without any tea or soda, I get the caffeine withdrawal headaches. I'd like to eventually get off the caffeine again.

I haven't tried Chris' kombucha home brew, but I did get some kombucha from Whole Foods. It has that sweet and fizzy kick that I get from soda, but without nearly the same amount of sugar. The sour element takes a bit of getting used to, as does swallowing the strands of live culture. Ick. I wonder if it could be made with caffeinated black tea, since green tea doesn't usually have caffeine.

As for my daily tea routine, I'm lucky that my employer provides tea bags, hot water, and an ice machine. I brew several cups of black tea a day and pour them over a cup of ice. Free iced tea, brewed fresh, one cup at a time.

munsoned said...

Scott, strands of live culture? No thank you. That is cool that you get free tea at work. I'm pretty sure if I scrounged up all the tea at home and all the random bags I could find around my work, I'd be set for a while.

And a confession - I had coffee left over at work from my last grocery trip, so I've been steadily finishing that off. But afterward, I'm switching to caffienated tea, then possibly decaf tea. And I agree, not having some soda or flavored beverage throughout the day does make me irritable. Probably sugar/caffiene withdrawal.

dale said...

We put an RO water system in from Lowes - $150 whirlpool - that requires $35 filter changes every 6 months and an RO membrane every year or two.

Yea, expensive compared to the tap but the taste is great. And it takes out most of the chemicals that have leached into the water system.

The only drawback is that you pee more since the kidneys have less crap to strain out.